HomeWrestlingMonday Night RAW in St. Louis: The RAW Before the Rumble

Monday Night RAW in St. Louis: The RAW Before the Rumble

RAW begins with a noble 10-bell salute and video package in tribute to the late Bruno Sammartino. A legend in and out of the ring. Noted for his mere presence, his stature, a man who brought integrity to a sport of entertainment.

We go from somber to intense as Brock Lesnar and Rabbi Paul Heyman address the crowd, gloating about WrestleMania, teasing Brock’s inevitable return to UFC, and his upcoming match at Greatest Royal Rumble against Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage match. Saying his name is comparable to calling out Beetlejuice, as Reigns confronts Lesnar from a distance. Mixed crowd on this one. I would have expected more booing, but maybe people feel bad for him.

No fight tonight, looks like this will be saved for the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Not-so Glorious

Hmm. Is WWE ready to do away with the gimmick? Bobby Roode loses to Elias tonight, via arm-breaker over the ropes followed by a quick roll-up. The Glorious one was well over in NXT and it seemed to carry decently on SmackDown, but it seems WWE creative might be apprehensive about having an over the top intro for someone likely to be trapped in mid-card hell for the next six months until they figure out what to do with him.

The Fall of Ascension

Despite being drafted to RAW, I cannot see any hope for Konnor and Viktor. Unless they partner back up with Breezango. I truly enjoy each time Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt go whacky with antics. From Hardy getting the crowd to applaud in ridiculous fashion to Wyatt following up with some creepy inverted-beard action.

The Sami & Kevin Show!

I honestly thought we were getting a podcast-style segment. Instead, the duo ran down Kurt Angle who came out and reminded them how he will be in the Greatest Rumble Match, with Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan. Angle books them in a big time tag team match, against Bobby Lashley and Braun Strowman.

I don’t mind this at all, but it seems Lashley and Strowman are thrown into matches without rhyme or reason. It does give them something to do…

No Shield for You!

…while Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas have nothing to do since The Miz got drafted to SmackDown. They attempt to Shield up with Seth Rollins, but no dice.

Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler hate everyone

They make short work of Titus O’Neal and Apolo Crews. Post-match, they serve notice they will come after the lazy-ass check collectors on RAW. That would assume Brock Lesnar, but I highly doubt it.

Backstage: Jinder Mahal demands respect from Chad Gable! So… American Alpha reunion? Not likely. These days WWE fans don’t forget so easily. Jordan’s career is ruined from ever teaming with his ol’ buddy. Ever.

Respect the Gable!

Well, I admit I didn’t see it coming, but Chad Gable scores a win over Jinder. Haha. I find this funny for some odd reason.

If They Don’t Win… They Riott

See what I did there? Absolution’s out, and the Riott Squad is in. Let’s just see how much of a presence they’ll have on RAW.

Samoa Joe cuts a cell phone promo

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m just not a fan of these.

Backstage again: Axel and Dallas appeal to join the Balor Club.


Strowman & Lashley Are Just Having A Party

Owens and Zayn had a good run, for a while it seemed Team ZaynKO had the upper had over Lashley, but this was short lived. Good almighty grief, did Lashley and Strowman mop the floor with them. Lashley had certainly found his way back home and in the favor of the fans, and of course, Strowman’s mere appearance sends fans into a frenzy. Good lord. The pairing of these two giants on a permanent basis would be the ultimate fan fare.

The Death of Gimmicks

No Way Jose dances out, Bacon Rorbin won’t compete because of it. Well, instead, he just blindsides Jose and beats him up a bit. Uhhhh…

ROH Club vs. We Need a New Gimmick

Seth Rollins and Finn Balor pick up a win over Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. This might sound odd, but although they seem a bit directionless for now, if tag teams become a trend again on RAW, perhaps there might just be some life left for them.

Main Event: 10-Woman Tag Team Match

Featuring the women of RAW in the main event? Yes please. Well done. Despite the women having no presence at the Greatest Royal Rumble, WWE has made sure the women get just as much airtime as possible.  The good, the women of RAW get a decent chuck of time at the end of the night to show off. The bad, Ronda Rousey is added to send the match out with a DQ finish to save Natalya and possibly start a feud with the heels of the brand. Or, Natalya returns to heel mode and feuds.

I’m torn on Rousey being involved. On the one hand, her inclusion adds more to the WWE product, no doubt. But, I feel some might only tune into watching women’s wrestling because Rousey will be involved. A decent match, but not the result one would have hoped for.

Overall, not a bad show tonight. A lot of tag team matches, a good thing. Gives time for what seems to be a heavily overloaded roster a chance to gain some crowd recognition.

Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis
Michael Dworkis has been a writer for The Pop Break since 2010. For over a decade he has contributed columns featuring Anime, Comics, Transformers, Television, Movies, and most notably, Professional Wrestling. Additionally, one of the key players in the original Angry Nerds column and a guest on one of Bill's various podcasts. When he is not grinding away at his next feature, or shouting expletives at the television while playing video games or watching wrestling, Michael actually has a full-time job,as a Mental Health Professional, working at a medical practice in New Jersey, and runs his own telehealth private practice. A family man through-and-through, requiring his three children to memorize all the Autobots and Decepticons on the collection shelves while also educating them in all things Marvel and Star Wars. You know, the stuff Disney owns.

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